Mining Cryptos & Decrypting Wines – A Double Bill: June 15th, 2018

[Wine Tasting organized by FIPHK member- Chandan Gupta]

[Crypto & Blockchain Talk organized by FIPHK member – Sai Sudha]

[Event Moderated by FIPHK Member – Sai Sudha]


As they say, life is too short to drink a bad wine. And Michael Broadbent once said “Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures.”  With this mind, a wine tasting evening was organized for the members to unwind and learn at the same time.

IMG_5229 (1)

Our wine master for evening was Mr. Edward NARBY – a British national who grew up in France and Germany among a family of wine experts.

The wines were sponsored by  The House of Ferdinand Pieroth, Hong Kong – who have been established in Hong Kong since 1975. The first documented evidence of viticulture in the Pieroth family was in 1675, and they haven’t stopped producing wine since.

Edward took us to a journey of 6 different wines – 4 Red and 2 White – all from various regions in the world. The wines tasted were:

  • Bor Forras from Hungary
  • Los Intocables Black Malbec from Argentina – San Juan Region
  • Lou’s No 1 (Cabernet Sauvignon) from Barossa Valley in Australia
  • Château Gros Caillou – St Emilion Grand Cru from France (Bordeaux)
  • Burg Layer Schlosskapelle – Riesling
  • Sankt Johanner Abtey Silvaner – Spatelese  Rheinhessen

IMG_5231 (1)                IMG_5216

Each wine had a unique story behind itself. Members enjoyed the tasting session and enhanced their knowledge on various aspects of wine.


“The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars.” ― Benjamin Franklin


IMG_5254 IMG_5245

The second half of the evening saw Ms. Bowie Lau give our members a very insightful talk on Blockchain, crypto currencies while helping us decode all the latest buzz words in today’s fin-tech world.

Bitcoin, was not traded on any exchanges in 2009 & it’s worth was $0. Its first recorded price was in 2010 where it never topped $1! Then its value picked up from $13.5 in Dec 2013 to its highest level of $17,550 in Dec 2017.

While many of us do know that Cryptocurrency is a kind of digital currency, virtual currency or alternative currency, what the members learnt that day was how these cryptos use decentralized control as opposed to centralized electronic money and central banking systems. The decentralized control of each cryptocurrency works through distributed ledger technology, typically a blockchain, that serves as a public financial transaction database.

The talk & discussion centered around –

  • Blockchain – a “Chain of Blocks of Transactional Data”. A Distributed, Decentralized, Immutable Ledger “Cryptographically” secured by some participants of a consensus-based Network where trust is “Optional”.
  • Distributed Ledger – A database of transactions that is shared and synchronized across a network spanning multiple sites, institutions or geographies.
  • Decentralized – A type of network that isn’t managed by a central party.
  • Immutable – Tamper-proof. Once a block is written onto a blockchain, it is almost impossible to change.
  • Cryptocurrency – a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses strong cryptography to secure financial transactions, control the creation of additional units, and verify the transfer of assets.


Towards the end, the session got very interactive with all of our members clamoring wife & husband duo of Mathiannal Group with lots of questions leading to a very insightful discussion.

FYI – Bowie LAU (a.k.a. Ms. Kryptos) is the Founder of Mathiannal Group, an Angel Investor with a mission and focus to help technology intensive startups was accompanied by her husband, Prasanna MATHIANNAL who took up technical questions like any investment banker would.


Bala KRISHNAMURTHY, FIPHK’s Board Member & Treasurer, brought the curtains down to a fantastic evening of Wine & Cryptos, a perfect pairing.